The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 16 No. 27 - May 4, 2016


Sea turtle contest underway Find the Travelin' Turtle and win!

Carol Whitmore

Traveling Turtle contest winner

From left Marcia Mattick, of Snips, congratulates
Melissa Bradley Bechler as the first Traveling
Turtle contest winner. Bechler had to find a
clue in The Sun newspaper or on the Turtle Watch
Facebook page to discover where the traveling
turtle had moved and post a photo on the Turtle
Watch Facebook page. The clue led her to Snips.
There will be a new clue each week in The Sun
and on the Turtle Watch Facebook page and a
new winner each week until May 4. Weekly
winners receive a prize package provided by
contest partners. A grand prize winner will be
drawn out of the weekly winners and receive a
basket of Turtle Watch gear and gift certificates
å from Island businesses.

In celebration of sea turtle nesting season, which opens on Sunday, May 1, Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring is holding a contest with weekly prizes, and a grand prize to be awarded on May 7.

The Travelin' Turtle will be hidden at a different Anna Maria Island business each week, and a clue is printed in this newspaper and on the Turtle Watch Facebook page.

The first person to find the turtle and call Laurie Crawford at 941-746-3611 will win the weekly contest.

A grand prize winner will be chosen from among the finalists, winning Turtle Watch gear, gift certificates from Island businesses and Sun souvenirs.

Interested in sea turtles? Check out Turtle Tips in The Sun for things you can do and avoid doing that will make life easier for turtles. Mark your summer calendar for Turtle Talks each Tuesday in June and July at Crosspointe Church, 8605 Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach, from 10-11 a.m., sponsored by Turtle Watch, and visit

Turtle Tips

Sunday, May 1 is the official start of sea turtle nesting season on Anna Maria Island, although the turtles sometimes begin nesting earlier.

For the next six months, imperiled female loggerhead and green sea turtles will be laying their eggs on the beaches at night, and their hatchlings will be making their way to the Gulf of Mexico.

During sea turtle season, May 1 – Oct. 31, please follow these tips:

• Turn off lights visible from the beach and close blinds from sundown to sunrise; lights confuse nesting sea turtles and may cause them to go back to sea and drop their eggs in the water, where they won't hatch. Light can also attract hatchlings away from the water.

• Don't use flashlights, light sticks, lanterns or camera or cell phone flashes on the beach at night.

• Remove all objects from the sand from sundown to sunrise, including chairs, boats, umbrellas, umbrella anchors and tents; they can deter sea turtles from nesting and disorient hatchlings.

• Fill in the holes you dig in the sand before leaving the beach; they can trap nesting and hatching sea turtles, which cannot live long out of the water.

• Don't use sky lanterns or fireworks; they litter the beach and Gulf.

• Do not trim trees and plants that shield the beach from lights.

• Correctly dispose of fishing line, so it won't entangle sea turtles and other animals.

• Stay clear of sea turtles and never touch them; it's the law. If you see people disturbing turtles, or see a sick, injured, entangled or dead sea turtle, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

Nesting news

Sea turtles

Nests laid: 0

Source: Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring

Adopt a turtle nest

Loggerhead sea turtle nests are up for adoption on Anna Maria Island beaches, to commemorate weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, lost loved ones or just for the love of nature. The 11-year-old program raises funds for Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring. For a tax deductible donation of $100, adoptive parents receive the adoption plaque that was posted on the nest, a video of the nest, data from the nest, such as how many turtles hatched and when, and a letter of appreciation. To adopt, visit


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